Heyside beat Norden to lift the Tanner Cup

HEYSIDE lifted the Tanner Cup, but first-team captain Ryan Barnes says they “under-performed” in the JW Lees Brewery Pennine Cricket League.

The club finished 10th in the 12-strong Premiership in what Barnes described as a “very mixed” season.

He said: “The brightspot was winning the Tanner Cup when we beat a strong Norden side in the final.

“The second team did really well, though, being runners-up in both the league and Moore Cup.

“To reach two cup finals was the highlight, especially as we hosted both.”

Barnes added there were reasons for their inconsistent form in the league.

“We had players missing every week and it didn’t help having to field a different team every match,” he explained.

Heyside will be looking for a new professional for 2018 as Bilal Khiljee, paid man for the last two seasons, will not be returning as he does not meet the new Home Office criteria.

CROMPTON looked back on a satisfactory season as they finished sixth in the Premiership and also reached the final of the Wood Cup when they lost to Rochdale.

Second-team captain and club treasurer Glen Rigby said: “We had been looking for a top-four finish, but sixth was not too bad.

“The biggest disappointment was not winning the Wood Cup after bowling Rochdale out for 178, but we did not bat well enough.”

Rigby admitted it was a strange season knowing that the Pennine League was folding at the end of it.

“There wasn’t a lot to play for with no relegation or promotion, though the cricket was still competitive,” he explained.

Rigby added one of the highlights was Steven Wright scoring his first century for the club, where he has played for almost quarter of a century, against Saddleworth in the Wood Cup.

He also praised the volunteers who have helped transformed the club.

Rigby said: “We are proud where we have come from in the last 10-15 years, which is down to a lot of hard work.

“The groundstaff put in countless hours to make the pitch while the committee put on a lot of functions that have raised money that is ploughed back into the club.

“We have top facilities and it is somewhere everybody wants to play at, a far cry to when we had the old wooden changing rooms.”

SHAW finished fifth in the Championship, a position better than expected after a traumatic build up to the 2017 season.

Club official Paul Harrison admitted the club did not foresee the problems after the high-profile signing of former Lancashire, Essex and England cricketer Sajid Mahmood.

He said: “We put the pro in place early, but he didn’t attract as many players as we thought, and it was looking grim.

“We out out an SOS and Steven Whiston replied and said he would take the reins. He did very well considering our predicament and rallied the troops.”

Harrison admitted the wet summer and far-from-perfect tracks wasn’t conducive to a pace bowler like Mahmood who he described as “one of the nicest professionals I have ever come across”.

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